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Ultimate Modded Epiphone Wildkat

Discussion in 'Tele Home Depot' started by thecakeguru, Jan 30, 2018.

  1. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    Love my Wildkat,which is my #1 gigging guitar. Stays in tune really well with the stock bridge and tuners. Love it for rock and roll, and the neck pickup gets a lovely jazz tone too.

    I'll admit it can sound a bit dark compared to other guitars, possibly due to the wiring but also maybe due to the high output pickups. But no matter: a tweak of the voulme and treble knobs on the amp is an instant fix. I often change between guitars mid set and it never takes more than 30 seconds to adjust the amp accordingly.

    I've felt no need to rewire mine: five years and a hundred or so gigs in and I'm still a happy chappie. The only mod I may do is darken the yellow top and add a tobacco sunburst.
     
    CFFF likes this.

  2. TNO

    TNO Friend of Leo's

    Apr 25, 2003
    NC-USA

  3. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    65
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Hard to photograph, but my color sample chart came in today. Think im going to go with Ocean Aqua!!! Its gorgeous under sunlight :-D Also looking at the guitar more today, I may end up keeping the f holes. Still debating.
     

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    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  4. cabra velha

    cabra velha Tele-Afflicted Platinum Supporter

    Jan 21, 2016
    estados unidos
    To tell the truth, I would never trust what any modern Epiphone sounds like until after I rewired it. Maybe some of them sound great from the factory but it seems really hit-and-miss to me, the ones I have been inside are using lead-free solder in a hurry, the famous solder-free plug connectors and some sketchy quality push-pull pots. I've rewired 5 hollow body epis and they all came alive afterwards.

    Lately I'm having a Wildkat hankering . . .or maybe even one of the ES LPs (especially the one with the access ports on the back).

    I was really knocked-out by the green sparkle Dearmond but the longer I think about it the more I like the original finish, I don't recall ever seeing a natural top finish on an M75t, was it an early one?
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  5. fasteddie42

    fasteddie42 Tele-Meister

    Age:
    28
    219
    Dec 10, 2016
    Tip of the Mitt
    Keep the f holes...
     
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  6. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I'd would like to have one of these Wildcats and a Gretsch Firebird with a Bigsby.
     

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    radiocaster likes this.

  7. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    Maybe, but unnecessary in my opinion. In the article he actually ends up saying the original mods made the Wildkat too bright at first.

    I gigged my Wildkat again last night and as stock it cut through wonderfully. First set I used a Strat and just couldn't get a sound I liked. Second set, picked up the Wildkat, rolled a bit more treble on the amp and it sounded wonderful. My bass player said: "I don't know why you bring your Srats and Teles as the Epi always sounds great."

    My advice: live and gig with the guitar's stock wiring and pickups for a while before making any changes.
     
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  8. jvin248

    jvin248 Poster Extraordinaire

    Apr 18, 2014
    Near Detroit, MI
    .

    Keep the F-holes!

    Focus on pots and caps to push your tone around unless you want a different style of pickup.

    If the guitar is still in playable condition, get an 0.047uF cap and put that in series with the too-dark pickup hot lead to the switch or from the switch output wire if you need to fix both pickups (you probably have easier access to the switch than to the other electronics in there?). Otherwise changing the 250k volume pot(s) to 500k or if 500k to 1Meg (or sorting through a pile of "250k" to find one that measures closer to its top spec of "300k").

    .
     
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  9. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I guess your thread got a little side tracked. I remembered that your plan was to mod into a Gretsch type guitar. Carry on.
     
    thecakeguru likes this.

  10. CFFF

    CFFF Tele-Meister

    324
    Oct 31, 2016
    .
    I think your luthier will be more happy if you keep the holes :)
     
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  11. jimilee

    jimilee Tele-Holic

    Age:
    47
    627
    Dec 19, 2017
    Chattanooga
    Like be the koa wood. It’s really cool you gigged with yours, it’s truly a great guitar.
     

  12. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    At one point the OP wrote 'if I intended on keeping this guitar stock, id rewire it, and put plastic covers on the p90s' so passing on some experiences of the stock guitar seems appropriate.
     
    Zepfan likes this.

  13. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    65
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    No, the guitar is going to be rewired and routed for filtertrons. That said, stumbled on some nickel gretsch HS filtertrons today and ordered them at a good price. All the hardware and other electronics are ordered. New graphtec nut and saddles in the mail as well. Its going to be like christmas this coming week. Also, guitar is gutted.
     

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  14. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    65
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga

    Thats the plan! Thanks :)
     
    El Tele Lobo likes this.

  15. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I like P90's, but I also like Filtertrons and Firebirds.:cool:
     
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  16. Zepfan

    Zepfan Poster Extraordinaire

    Nov 30, 2013
    Horn Lake, MS
    I just didn't want the OP to feel discouraged in his modding idea after reading a lot of Pro Wildcat posts. It wasn't any negative thing against posters.
     
    matmosphere likes this.

  17. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    65
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    This is to be expected in all forums where opinions are prevalent. But no worries :) if the stock wildkat works for aome people, and it must seeing epiphone has been making that model for quite some time, then awesome! I never intended on keeping in stock from the getgo.
     

  18. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    All good. Best of luck with it and keep us posted. The Wildkat is great for playability: nice neck and a body size that makes it very gig-friendly.

    For the paint job, you may find just giving the top a sparkle and leaving the neck, back and sides natural may look great and save you a heap of work. I'm planning to sunburst the top of mine one day.

    What are your plans for the headstock? Keep it as-is or re-shape to more of a Gretsch vibe?
     
    thecakeguru likes this.

  19. thecakeguru

    thecakeguru TDPRI Member

    65
    Aug 18, 2014
    outside atlanta, ga
    Yes! Only the top is getting a sparkle finish. Too much work, imo, otherwise, plus, I like the look of natural wood. Ive been thinking of reshaping the headstock to either a gretsch or gibson style. Opinions??
     

  20. GigsbyBoyUK

    GigsbyBoyUK Friend of Leo's

    Apr 30, 2008
    Peterborough, UK
    Headstock is a tricky one. I have reshaped an Epi headstock before and later regretted it. When you're playing a guitar you don't really see the headstock anyway. Maybe do everything else and leave the headstock alone for now, and see how you feel about it after that? You have quite a lot to do anyway.
     
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